rating: 4 of 5 stars
There is a genre of books – often American – written by Christians who have reacted against the conservative version of Christianity with which they grew up. McClaren’s book is of that type. What I find fascinating about this genre is that these books frequently express the authors’ new convictions with far greater clarity and power than those who have always seen Christianity in that way. It’s a case of converts being more zealous than those who are born into the “faith”. This book is uncompromising and unequivocal about the total difference between the dominant culture of “Western” capitalism and the values of God’s kingdom as expressed in the teaching of Jesus as the author reads them. And so it lays bare the fuzziness and the weakness that has characterised the message and action of so many churches in consumerist society; even churches and Christians who have always eschewed the individualistic piety of conservative Protestants.
This book, if applied in the right places, could be a powerful antidote for churches and Christians which have been rendered ineffective by the dope of religiosity; who are barely awake to the crying needs of the world and obsessed with internal churchy matters.